While shopping for clothes, the first thing I asked was, “You kou ma?” (Any discounts?)
Chinese: Kou? Kou shen me? (Reduce? Reduce what? Looks at me like I’m a moron, which I am obviously)
Me: Err…jian jia? (Cut price?)
Chinese: mutter…mutter…you da jer. Da liu jer. (Translation: Sale on. You pay 60% of price.)
That’s my introduction to SALES in China. On the look-out now for small numbers, which means small payments as opposed to big numbers or big discounts elsewhere. Is this the Chinese way for math? Really interesting.
Important phrase when shopping: “You da jer ma?”
While buying dinner take-out for the adults at a nearby mall on our second day there, a helpful female assistant (xiao mei) answered any questions I had. Then, she left me with the last dish which was steamed xiao bai chai (Chinese bok choi). A male assistant was spooning out the oyster sauce by the scoops.
Me: Kou le. (Enough.)
Boy (or xiao di): Keeps scooping. I love oyster sauce. I live oyster sauce.
Me: Err…kou le. (slightly louder)
The xiaomei saw what was happening and rushed over.
Xiaomei: DING! DING! DING! (TRANSLATION: STOP! ARE YOU DEAF? YOU’RE EMBARRASING US!)
Xiaodi: Spell broken.
CORRECTIONS: “Gou le” and “Ting” 😉